The Nation: Slowing Down

When Congress passed legislation recommending that the states adopt a 55 m.p.h. speed limit as a means of curbing gasoline consumption, most observers predicted an additional boon — a decrease in traffic fatalities. Sure enough, last month when the National Safety Council released highway-death-toll figures for the first six months in 1974, deaths were down a heartening 23% from the same period in 1973. While noting that the energy crisis had decreased the number of cars on the road, the council still gave credit for the downturn to the 55-m.p.h. speed limit, calling it a "major contributing factor."

But that was moving...

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